Infants usually have a bowel movement 2 to 3 times a day, although each individual is very different. Some infants empty their bowels many times in a day and some only once in 5 days. Constipation is when your child has a hard bowel movement less than once a week and even that is an effort.
What to do against constipation?
Important: if your baby has ongoing digestive trouble, you should speak to a paediatrician about it.
Constipation with exclusive formula feeding
If your child is only fed on formula, please check to see that you are using the right amount of powder and water with the measuring spoon provided. Your child will only be getting the fluids he/she needs with the correct ratio of powder to water.
If your child tends to have hard stools, a change to our HiPP Combiotic® could prove advantageous. HiPP Combiotic® formulae contain, among other things, important dietary fibres (GOS from lactose). These dietary fibres help to loosen the stool and make it softer. Breast milk also contains natural dietary fibres – one of the reasons why breastfed infants usually have softer stool than bottle-fed children.
Make sure that your child gets regular exercise, because digestion is stimulated by rolling and kicking. Baby gymnastics can also help and are great fun for your baby! Stroke or massage your baby’s stomach gently clockwise.
Constipation on introducing weaning food
When weaning foods are introduced the stool often becomes harder and the children don’t have a bowel movement so often. It is normal that the children have to press a bit harder sometimes. As long as your baby doesn’t cry and is not in pain, you don’t need to worry.
Usually the bowel movement is self-regulating after a while and the digestive system gets used to the new food.
To make stool softer, the following tips can help:
- Make sure your child gets enough to drink. Some tea or fruit juices with a stool-loosening effect (e.g. HiPP Mild Apple) between meals often lead to relief from this problem.
- When it comes to baby food you should use varieties with rather stool-loosening effects (indications are given on the labels), such as e.g. HiPP Fruit “Mild Apple” or meals with wholemeal cereals (Wholemeal Fruit Paps, Fruit & Cereal).
- Also movement or gentle massages can help digestion. Give your baby enough opportunities for activity. That loosens the muscles and stimulates digestion.
Important: with prolonged stool problems, please contact a paediatrician.